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What Is Vermont’s State Bird? How Was It decided?

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hermit thrush bird on the rock

Vermont is known for its autumn foliage, green mountain vistas, and wood-covered bridges. The heart of this place revolves around nature, and there is no shortage of birds to watch. If you’re a resident of Vermont or are visiting during the summertime, you might want to keep reading. Below are some fascinating things about Vermont’s history and wildlife. In this article, we’ll go over what the state chose as its symbolic bird and why it was decided.

What Is Vermont’s State Bird?

Vermont’s state bird is the Hermit Thrush, known scientifically as the Catharus guttatus, and is a member of the Turdidae family. This variation of thrush is only found in Vermont from spring to summer, as the birds relocate to warmer regions farther south when the chilly weather sets in during the month of October.

hermit thrush
Image Credit: Canadian-Nature-Visions, Pixabay

What Is a Hermit Thrush?

The Hermit Thrush is a small brown bird with a white underbelly that thrives in open woodlands. In the eastern US, this species makes its home in treetops, but west of the Rocky Mountains, they prefer to nest on the ground.

They forage for bugs or insects that are feeding on leaves, and most of the gathering is done by males. Hermit Thrushes have distinct calls that sound a bit sorrowful, but they may make some shorter chirps while active near their nests. 

Why Is the Hermit Thrush Vermont’s State Bird?

On the first day of June in 1941, legislators officially picked the Hermit Thrush as its state bird. Before this, there were many discussions that the Blue Jay or American Crow should be elected as the state’s favorite aerial critter.

Since the thrush doesn’t stay for the whole year, some thought it wasn’t the best candidate. However, others disagreed, and the final decision was made due to its unique song and residency in every single county in the state. No other state has declared the Hermit Thrust to be their state bird, so Vermont holds this specialty.

hermit thrush
Image Credit: Hans Toom, Pixabay

What Is Vermont’s State Flower?

Birds and flowers coexist in perfect harmony, so it’s only natural that each state would have a flower to choose from alongside their favorite bird. In Vermont, the state flower is the Red Clover or Trifolium pratense.

This flower was chosen over a century ago back in 1894 and outclassed several other options for Vermont’s state flower. The reason the Red Clover fits so well is because of its prevalence in Vermont’s lush farmlands, byways, and beautiful terrain. It is also one of the most common plants found in New England.

Although the name indicates that this plant is red, it’s actually a pinkish-purple color with vibrant petals that bloom in the spring. Red Clovers can fight through the cold, harsh winters of Vermont and still flourish.

red clover flowers
Image Credit: Piqsels

In Conclusion

Vermont is a place that holds a plethora of natural beauty, and the Green-Mountain State takes pride in this regard. With the state bird being the Hermit Thrush and the state flower being the Red Clover, it’s easy to see why so many people enjoy relaxing outside and viewing the natural environment. The next time you visit Vermont, look out for its symbolic wildlife while you’re there!

Featured Image Credit: Danita Delimont, Shutterstock

About the Author Robert Sparks

Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.